Dos-and-Donts-Comparing-Vendor-Quotes

You’ve done your due diligence and reached out to multiple vendors to request a quote. Now that you have multiple quotes in front of you it is likely overwhelming to try comparing quotes from copier vendors to decide which is the best option for your organization.

Many purchasers assume that each quote is generally equal to the other, the only difference being the bottom-line cost. This is often not the case. When comparing the costs of different models from different manufacturers with different service terms, it can be a daunting task. So, let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of comparing copier vendor quotes. 

Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges

The most important thing when comparing quotes from copier vendors is to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Confirm the equipment in each quote has similar functions, features and accessories. For example, one vendor may have a cabinet and the other vendor may include additional on-line paper trays.

Do the Math When Comparing Quotes from Copier Vendors

Dig into the quote and calculate the cost over time. It is common practice for vendors to add costs that go into effect later in the contract to offset the aging equipment. Ask yourself “What will this printer cost me in year 1, year 2, and so on?”. Make sure you know what to expect in the long term and how it compares to the other quotes.

Do Look for Hidden Costs

One vendor may say a service, like networking, is included and the other may charge for the same service. “Included” sounds great in theory but if you are not careful, you could be getting what you pay for here. Be sure to clarify what is in fact, included. Some other examples might include scanning, delivery or shipping fees.

Do Compare the Leasing Terms When Comparing Vendor Quotes

If you are leasing, check to make sure the terms are the same. One vendor may quote a 48-month lease, where the other quotes a 60-month lease. Additionally, you can usually choose from a $1.00 purchase option lease or a Fair Market Value purchase option lease. Again, you want compare apples to apples. Click here to learn more about buying and leasing options.

Do Compare the Service Agreements When Comparing Quotes from Copier Vendors

Maintenance can vary across the board and is often a larger expense over the hardware through the term of the agreement. Make sure you look and compare each quote when it comes to the maintenance of the products.

As an example, some vendor quotes will exclude certain items like toner or ink. Some will have specific terms and conditions regarding downtime. For example, one company might guarantee next day service, where the other company guarantees 4-hour service. These variables should all weigh into your decision.

View some additional tips for selecting the best service provider.

Do Research on the Company

If you haven’t already, do your due diligence and consider the company’s reputation. Do they have positive online reviews from verified customers? Are they local/regional/national in scope? How long have they been a dealer for the brand that they are offering?

Ask for references that you can contact directly. Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions. Some examples might include:

  • When you had an issue, how did the vendor resolve it?
  • Was it easily handled in a timely manner?

Do Research on your Sales Representative

Ask the references about your sales representative or check them out on social media. Ask yourself the follow questions about your sales representative:

  • What kind of experience does he/she have?
  • How long has he/she worked in the industry?
  • What is his/her tenure with the vendor?
  • Is he/she looking out for my best interests?
  • Can he/she be a trusted partner?

Don’t Assume the Lowest Quote is the Best When Comparing Copier Vendor Quotes

Act on the quote that you feel is the best value for you and your company. Ultimately, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to partner with someone, not just buy from someone. Most equipment lasts for 5 years, make sure the vendor you choose is who you want to do business with in the long term. The lowest option is not always the best option. Reasons why the right vendor might not always be the cheapest.

Don’t worry – we’re here to help!

In conclusion, you are not alone. Combing through the fine print of quotes is a common challenge for businesses. If you receive more than 3 quotes, narrow these down to your top 2. Make sure you meet face-to-face with the vendors, either through video platforms or in person. Likewise, let the sales representative walk you through the quotes and help guide you through the process.

Hopefully, you will feel better equipped to make an informed decision when comparing quotes from copier vendors. Remember the right vendor for you is often the one who best accommodates your needs. If you need some help sorting through your quotes, don’t hesitate to reach out to an Advanced Imaging Solutions expert.